Advertisement

Generic Name:

amphetamine, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Evekeo
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for amphetamine

Oral tablet
1

Amphetamine sulfate is an oral medication used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obesity.

2

The most common side effects include headache, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, nervousness, diarrhea or constipation, and weight loss.

3

Amphetamine has a high potential for abuse. It’s a controlled substance because it can be a target for people who abuse drugs. Never give it to anyone else. Selling or giving it away is against the law.

4

Use caution when taking amphetamine if you’ve ever had substance addiction problems or a family history of addiction.

5

Amphetamine can worsen existing and cause new heart problems, psychiatric problems, or problems with blood supply and circulation to your fingers or toes.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Risk for abuse. Taking this drug for a long period of time may lead to drug dependence and addiction.

Death or heart problems. Taking this drug incorrectly may lead to sudden death or serious heart problems. These include increased blood pressure and heart rate, stroke, and heart attack.

May slow a child's growth

This drug may cause a child’s growth to slow down. Children should have their height and weight checked by their doctor during treatment. If they aren’t growing in height or gaining any weight, this drug may need to be stopped. After stopping this drug, growth rate should return to normal. But the child may never make up the growth that was lost while on the medication.

May cloud judgment

This drug may impair or cloud your judgment. Use caution while driving, using heavy machinery, or doing other risky tasks while taking this drug.

What is amphetamine sulfate?

This is a prescription drug and a controlled substance. It’s available as an oral tablet and as an extended-release orally disintegrating (dissolving) tablet. 

The oral tablet is only available as the brand-name drug Evekeo. The extended-release orally disintegrating tablet is only available as the brand-name drug Adzenys XR-ODT. Amphetamine isn’t available as a generic drug.

Why it's used

This drug is used to keep people with narcolepsy awake. It’s used to increase attention and reduce impulsiveness in ADHD. And it’s used for overweight people as a short-term weight loss drug.

How it works

This drug is a central nervous system stimulant. It isn’t fully understood how it works for narcolepsy, ADHD, or weight loss.

Advertisement
SECTION 2 of 4

amphetamine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with amphetamine include:

  • headache

  • upset stomach

  • trouble sleeping

  • decreased appetite

  • unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • nervousness

  • dizziness

  • sexual dysfunction

  • vomiting

  • itching

  • diarrhea or constipation

  • dry mouth

  • weight loss

  • mood swings

Serious Side Effects

If you or your child experiences any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • heart problems that can result in sudden death, including stroke, heart attack, and increased blood pressure. Symptoms may include:

    • weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
    • pain in your chest, left arm, jaw, or between your shoulders
  • mental problems:

    • new or worse behavior and thought problems
    • new or worse bipolar illness
    • new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility
  • new psychotic symptoms in children and teenagers who have psychiatric problems. These include:

    • hearing voices
    • seeing things that aren’t real
    • believing things that aren’t true
    • being suspicious
    • new overexcited symptoms
  • circulation problems. Symptoms may include:

    • fingers or toes that feel numb, cool, or painful
    • fingers or toes that change color from pale, to blue, to red
    • unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

amphetamine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Amphetamine can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you or your child might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Stomach acid drugs

Drugs that lower stomach acid, like antacids, may increase the level of amphetamine in the blood. This may increase the side effects of amphetamine.

Examples are:

  • proton pump inhibitors:
    • omeprazole (Prilosec)
    • esomeprazole (Nexium
  • H2 receptor antagonists:
    • ranitidine (Zantac)
    • famotidine (Pepcid)

Tricyclic antidepressants

These include:

  • amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • desipramine (Norpramin)
  • doxepin (Sinequan)
  • imipramine (Tofranil)
  • nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • trimipramine (Surmontil)

The combination of amphetamine and a tricyclic antidepressant may increase blood pressure and risks for heart problems.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants

Examples are:

  • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • phenelzine (Nardil)
  • tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • selegiline (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar)

These medications can prevent your body from processing amphetamine correctly. This may cause levels of amphetamine to increase in your blood. This may increase the risk extremely high blood pressure, chest pain, severe headache, and high body temperature. Amphetamine should never be taken within 14 days of using MAOI antidepressants.

Antipsychotic drugs

Examples are:

  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • haloperidol (Haldol)

These medications may lower the effects of amphetamine, which may cause it not to work as well.

Blood pressure drugs

Examples are:

  • angiotensin II receptor blockers:
    • losartan
    • valsartan
    • irbesartan
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
    • enalapril
    • lisinopril
  • diuretics
    • hydrochlorothiazide
    • furosemide

Amphetamine may reduce the blood pressure-lowering effects of these medications.

Seizure drugs

These include:

  • phenytoin
  • phenobarbital

Amphetamine may lower the effect of seizure medications, which may increase the risk of seizures.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
heart problems
People with heart problems

People with serious heart problems may be at risk for sudden death when taking usual doses of this drug. They shouldn’t take this drug.

This drug may increase blood pressure and heart rate. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure, history of recent heart attack, or an irregular or abnormal heart beat, you and your doctor should discuss if this drug is safe for you. If you decide to take it, use this drug with extreme caution.

psychiatric disorders
People with psychiatric disorders

If you or your child already has a psychotic disorder and take this drug, symptoms of behavior problems and thought disorders may get worse.

If you or your child already has bipolar disorder, there’s an increased risk of having a mixed or manic episode when taking this drug.

anxiety
People with anxiety or agitation

If you or your child tends to be very anxious, tense, or agitated, don’t take this drug. It can worsen these symptoms.

drug abuse
People with history of drug abuse

If you or your child has a history of abuse, don’t take this drug. It can be highly addictive.

seizures
People with seizures

If you or your child has a history of seizures, don’t take this drug. It may increase the chance of having a seizure.

circulation problems
People with circulation problems

This includes peripheral vasculopathy and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Amphetamine may damage tissue in your or your child’s fingers and toes. This may cause a feeling of numbness, pain, or cold. Fingers and toes may also change colors from pale, to blue, to red. You and your doctor should monitor your fingers and toes for any of these symptoms. If things worsen, your doctor may decide to decrease the dose, stop the medication, or refer you to a specialist. 

hyperthyroidism
People with hyperthyroidism

If you or your child has been diagnosed with overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), don’t take this drug. It can make hyperthyroidism worse and cause symptoms like an increased or abnormal heartbeat.

pregnant woman
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus. 

Some infants born to mothers dependent on amphetamine during pregnancy have shown an increased risk of being born premature, having a low birth weight, or showing symptoms of withdrawal.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug may pass into breast milk and can cause side effects in a nursing child. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to stop nursing or stop this drug. You should not breastfeed while taking this drug.

children
For children

Long-term safety and effectiveness of this drug in children haven’t been studied.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include: 

  • hives,
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat and tongue

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or other stimulant medications. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take amphetamine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Narcolepsy

Brand: Evekeo

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Brand: Adzenys XR-ODT

Form: Extended release orally disintegrating tablet
Strengths: 3.1 mg, 6.3 mg, 9.4 mg, 12.5 mg, 15.7 mg, and 18.8 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Oral tablet only:

  • The usual dose is 5–60 mg per day in divided doses based on your response.
  • Take the first dose when you wake up and any additional doses (5 or 10 mg) every 4–6 hours.
Child Dosage (ages 12–17 years)

Oral tablet only:

  • The initial dose is 10 mg per day.
  • The dose may increase every week by 10 mg until the desired response is met.
Child Dosage (ages 6–12 years)

Oral tablet only:

  • The initial dose is 5 mg per day.
  • The dose may increase every week by 5 mg until the desired response is met.
Child Dosage (ages 0–5 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established for this age group.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Brand: Evekeo

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Brand: Adzenys XR-ODT

Form: Extended release orally disintegrating tablet
Strengths: 3.1 mg, 6.3 mg, 9.4 mg, 12.5 mg, 15.7 mg, and 18.8 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Extended-release orally disintegrating tablet only:

  • 12.5 mg per day.

The safety and effectiveness of this drug for treating ADHD in adults hasn’t been established.

Oral tablet:

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • Take the first dose when you wake up and any additional doses (1 to 2 doses) every 4–6 hours.
  • The initial dose is 5 mg once or twice per day.
  • The dose may increase every week by 5 mg until the desired response is met.
  • Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 3–5 years)
  • The initial dose is 2.5 mg per day.
  • The dose may increase every week by 2.5 mg until the desired response has been met.
Child dosage (ages 0–2 years)

The oral tablet isn’t recommended for children under 3 years of age.

Extended release orally disintegrating tablets

Child dosage (ages 13–17 years)
  • The initial dose is 6.3 mg per day.
  • Your doctor may increase your dose every week by 3.1 or 6.3 mg until the desired response is met.
  • The maximum dose is 12.5 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 6–12 years)
  • The initial dose is 6.3 mg per day.
  • Your doctor may increase your dose every week by 3.1 or 6.3 mg until the desired response is met.
  • The maximum dose is 18.8 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

A safe and effective dose of this drug has not been established for children under 6 years old.

Warnings

For treating ADHD, when possible, your doctor may try to stop the drug occasionally to determine if you still need to be on it. If the behavioral symptoms return, you may need to continue therapy for the time being.

Obesity

Brand: Evekeo

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Brand: Adzenys XR-ODT

Form: Extended release orally disintegrating tablet
Strengths: 3.1 mg, 6.3 mg, 9.4 mg, 12.5 mg, 15.7 mg, and 18.8 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Oral tablet only:

  • The usual dose is up to 30 mg per day. Take it in divided doses of 5–10 mg.
  • Take your dose about 30–60 minutes before meals.
Child Dosage (ages 12–17 years)

Oral tablet only:

  • The usual dose is up to 30 mg per day. Take it in divided doses of 5–10 mg.
  • Take your dose about 30–60 minutes before meals.
Child Dosage (ages 0–11 years)

Amphetamine is not recommended for this use in children 12 years old and younger.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If you stop or miss doses

If you stop taking this drug, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, you may experience more symptoms caused by your condition. If you’ve been taking high doses of this drug for a long time and stop it suddenly, you may experience extreme tiredness or fatigue, as well as severe depression.

If you take too much

If you take too much this drug, you may experience:

  • restlessness
  • muscle pain
  • weakness
  • fast breathing
  • confusion
  • high or low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

More severe problems include convulsions (seizures) and coma, which can be deadly. Get emergency medical attention if you suspect you or your child has taken too much this drug.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on schedule.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How can I tell if the drug is working?

For narcolepsy, you may be able to tell if this drug is working if you notice an improvement in sleep disturbances.

For ADHD, you may be able to tell if it’s working if you notice improved mental and behavioral effects, such as increased attention and decreased impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

In treating overweight and obesity, you may be able to tell if it’s working if you notice a decrease in your appetite.

Is this a long-term or short-term drug?

This drug may be taken short-term or long-term, depending on the condition being treated.

Important considerations for taking this drug
can take with or without food
You can take this drug with or without food
timing
Take the dose when you wake up in the morning. Taking this drug at night may cause trouble sleeping
can crush tablet
You can cut or crush the oral tablet
storage
Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)
See Details
not refillable
Prescription is not refillable
luggage
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details

Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Don’t freeze this medication.

Keep this drug and all other medications out of reach of children. Store it away from light and high temperatures.

Note: Keep your medications away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

After you remove the orally disintegrating tablets from the carton they come in, store the blister packages in the rigid, plastic travel case.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.
  • Since this is a controlled substance, you won’t have refills. Be sure to check that you have enough medication before you leave on your trip.

Clinical monitoring

This drug can cause serious heart problems or make existing heart problems worse. Your doctor may check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with this drug.

Using this drug for a long time use may slow down a child’s growth or keep them from gaining weight. Your child’s doctor may monitor your child’s height and weight during treatment.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on February 17, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement